How to Keep Your Collection Safe During Summer Storms

If you’re a Miami-based art collector, you’re likely planning a getaway to escape the city’s sweltering Summer heat. Aside from rising temperatures, however, Miami art collectors also need to prepare for disaster striking: The city’s geographic location on the Atlantic Ocean puts it at a higher risk of hurricane impact. While many Miami art collectors take their time making hurricane preparations before a summer jaunt, caring for and properly securing an art collection isn’t always top of mind, and many are often caught off-guard when a hurricane threatens to damage a collection they’ve spent a lifetime building. Whether you’ll be spending Miami’s hottest months hiking mountains in Aspen or sailing along the Mediterranean coast, you’ll want to make sure that your art collection is properly secured and ready to weather any storm.

From insuring and documenting your work, to using new technologies to protect it from threatening conditions, these tips will help ensure that your vacation is as relaxing as you intended it to be, no matter the weather.

Just like a home, an art collection needs to be protected against unexpected weather.

Just like a home, an art collection needs to be protected against unexpected weather.

Put Your Valuable Artwork in Storage

While it may not seem ideal, storing your most expensive artworks in a secure facility before traveling is the best option to ensure it remains safe during a storm. It’s impossible to predict the level of damage a storm might inflict on the interior and exterior of your home, and if your art collection includes valuable paintings, sculpture or outdoor objects,  your best bet is to remove these items from their perennial resting place and send them to storage for the season.

If putting all of your prized works into storage for the season seems like just a little more work than you bargained for, we would suggest that you instead move your artwork into areas of your home where they’re unlikely to get damaged. That means that works hanging near windows or doors should be stored in a safer place, outdoor sculptures should be laid flat and tied down to the ground, and outdoor lawn furniture should be moved away from any windows or doorways.

If you’re in need of assistance moving your work or finding a place to store, we love working with Museo Vault and LogicArt Miami, two fantastic AML partners that regularly serve Miami art collectors with their handling and storage needs.

Secure and Maintain Insurance

You may not have purchased insurance on your artworks initially, but as time has passed and value has increased, its likely that the majority of your pieces would benefit from the added protection of an insurance policy. Insurance policies vary in price point and protections, but generally insure that works can be repaired, replaced, or reimbursed when damage or theft occurs.

Local firm Crystal & Company is an independent brokerage with an art advisory team that specifically caters to art collectors clients. “The advantage that clients get when we design programs for them is that clients are provided with advice as to storm preparation, among other natural disasters,” says Tanis Perez, Director of Miami’s Crystal & Company office. Working with top rated carriers like AXA, Chubb, and AIG Private Client Group, Crystal & Company is a sound option for collectors looking to insure their work in anticipation of any extreme weather occurrences.

Your art collection should be secured to avoid any unwanted damage should a storm occur.

Your art collection should be secured to avoid any unwanted damage should a storm occur.

Research the Best Technology

Today’s art collectors no longer need to rely on old-fashioned methods to protect their work, and getting your hands on leading new technologies will be useful both pre- and post- hurricane prep. There are a variety of new technologies that can help you identify sources of moisture, light and heat, or implement systems that protect your artwork from everyday wear-and-tear. For example, many art collectors today are utilizing forward-looking infrared (FLIR) cameras, which scans a room to locate potentially hazardous conditions. FLIR cameras examine readings of walls, floors and ceilings that can indicate leaks, areas of missing insulation or electrical hotspots, so that you can identify whether the storm did more damage than meets the eye.

Additionally, new framing technologies go a long way to protect works before a hurricane occurs, as these frames essentially act as a shield against both normal and extreme weather conditions. For example, a variety of framers today are using Alumalite, a substrate that is waterproof and works as a great defense against moisture, soil, punctures and other impacts. If you’re facing off against a storm, it may be wise to reframe your collection with this powerful new material in an effort to protect your work against unnecessary damage.

Not sure where to begin? Art Market Liaison has a wealth of local and international contacts to help you continue your efforts or get started on your art collection’s hurricane preparedness. We’re happy to serve as a resource or connector to our partners to help ensure your collection’s future worth in the face of unpredictable events!